Commanders Diary

28 August-3 September 68

Diary 28 Aug - 3 Sep 1968

28 Aug - Quiet nite - A Co. opened road. B Co. RIF - 1 plat [B Co.] escort  Engr to RC & CP O; C Co. opened road. B Co. got 1 POW & one  body. At 1635, Engr convoy returning from culvert site was attacked. B  Co. escort plat and A Co. reacted. Arty, helicopters & gun ships  broke ambush. All [operable] vehicles cleared by 1830. Left 1 crane & 1 dump truck. One Engr KIA & 1 WIA. 2 BC.

An escort mission was different than out posting for a convoy.

While  on an escort mission, a company or platoon had complete security  responsibility during the outbound and inbound move of a unit not  equipped to defend itself from an ambush. 

In this case an Engineer construction unit assigned  to repair a culvert had to first go to the Rock Crusher and pickup  supplies and then proceed along Highway 26 to Check Point O where there  was a culvert to be repaired (probably from a enemy mining). Previous  diary entries have detailed towed arty howitzers being escorted to a  temporary FSB.

Upon arrival at the destination, the escort unit remained and secured a perimeter around the escorted unit's work site.

It was while returning from the engineer escort mission that the ambush occurred. 

[List of items that appears to be instructions to Company commanders and staff]
Move at 0630 [probably meaning begin move out of FSB at 0630]
Chow - 0500-0600. [keep] Troops moving. Close [mess line at] 0600. [Begin] Opn 0645
Changes [probably meaning on orders] passed to CO only

29 Aug - Quiet  nite - C Co. on MSR, A Co. on MSR to CP T. B Co. RIF in local area then  stand down. R escort TN-DT convoy. Neg contact. MG Williamson awarded  SS to S-3 [Silver Star to Captain Cain Bridgeman.] [and] gave base camp staff pep talk. [I] Received guidance [from MG Williamson] on convoy escort role.
[List of items.]
Special promotions
Police & sumps
1 man/plt [no idea what this means]
Ambush & sniper
Personnel for 06-14 A C [no idea what this means]
Prompt at meetings
Malaria - Rock Crusher
Head space

From General Ellis Williamson's Vietnam Journals, (un-paginated) for 29 August 1968: 

"Fire Support Base Rawlins III, Col. Fair, LTC Neilson: Reviewed  current operations, flew key personnel around the FSB perimeter in order  that they might fully appreciate the value of artillery support. CG  proposed that the battalion might work out a plan whereby during a  period of contact, all fires around the perimeter are ceased for 20  seconds or so, in order to confuse the enemy and possibly locate his strong points.

...Evening  Briefing ... CG voiced his disappointment with the appearance of FSB at  the Trang Bang bridge and his pleasure at the appearance of FSB Rawlins  III... 

30 Aug - Quiet  nite - C Co. on MSR. A Co. stand down. B Co. on MSR to CP T. R stand  down until 1200. Then escort Cu Chi - TN convoy both ways. C Co.  attacked vic. North side of Big Rubber. 3 WIA. B Co. found 2 40 lb mines  & 3 graves.
[I have no knowledge about the address below]
National Def Col
APO 96222

[List of items]
Chap [Chaplain] Little
19 A
11 B
C - To E6 Prichard 11B
To E5 Ludwig (Resupply)
* To E4 Summerhill

31 Aug - Quiet nite - B Co. & R open Rt 26. A & C Co's open Rt 22.
Rt 22 - open 0915
Convoy depart CC - 1015 Last elem 1110
Lead element [of convoy] security [at] edge of Little Rubber 1125
Lead element convoy 1145
B Co. received 1 RPG & scattered AK fire at CP O - one man WIA

[List of items]
Full SOJ for C Co. - Crackerjack [do not know meaning of this]
Awards - Gen Long [25th ID ADC (M)]
H & I - 81mm POL
90 mm RR

1 Sep - Quiet  nite. RF outpost received mortar & rocket fire. A Co. & Recon  opened MSR 22, B Co. opened MSR 26. C Co. stood down. B Co. found 1  Body.
Lead element convoy - Little Rubber 1015
Lead element of return convoy - Little Rubber 1345

2 Sep - 57th Mal Labor day Quiet nite - R at Rock Crusher (RC), open road to TN,  reinforce C Co. C Co. open 22. A open 26. B Co. escort Rome Plow,  replace FF plat, local RIF. Large mine on FF road - 1 Arty KIA, truck  destroy; 1 RPG fired at A Co. 1700.

3 Sep - Quiet  nite - R at RC, open road to TN, reinforce C Co. C Co. open 22. B Co.  open 26. A Co. Plat escort Rome Plow, 2 plat escort engr at [FSB] Buell.
Open road - 0758
Convoy by - 0930
Return by - 1330

[List of items]
Canvas repair kit
Signs, mess tent
Move S1/S4
flower seeds
children - RT 292

Cliff Neilson
Mohawk 6
May-Nov 1968  

Illegitimati non carborundum